More Than Loaves
John 6:25-59
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to
be with Me because I fed you, not because
you understood the miraculous signs” (v.26).
Isaac Penington, an early defender and promoter of the
Quaker movement (founded in 17th-century England),
said, “Thus has the Lord been teaching me to live
upon Himself, not from anything received from Him but
upon the Life itself.” The crowd in John 6 wanted to live
off Jesus, not because their hearts were loyal to Him,
but because their hearts were loyal to what they thought
He could provide for them—food and deliverance from
Roman oppression.

The provision of the loaves of bread (John 6:8-13) was,
in their minds, a confirmation of this. So Jesus withdrew,
showing His rejection of their perception of the kind of
Messiah they desired (vv.14-15).

The next day the crowd looked for Him and found Him,
suggesting a successful quest (vv.22,25). Again, they
had followed Him because of what they thought He could
provide for them. But Jesus turned the tables on them and
identified Himself as the Bread of Life (v.35). He—rather
than the law or anything else—was the source of eternal
life (vv.33,48,51,58). Only those who believed in Jesus
and internalized His words, ethics, pattern of thinking,
and truth would find true fulfillment in life. This was so
radically different from what the people had in mind that
some of them stopped following Him (vv.60-66).

In our consumer-driven world, it’s easy to follow Jesus
just for “the loaves.” But He alone can satisfy our deepest
hunger for Himself. He will satisfy us when we stay connected to Him (see John
15) through reading and living out His words; when we stay connected to His
body of believers, and when we serve others as He did.

Let’s follow Jesus, not simply because He can provide the loaves, but because
He alone is God and—as we trust in Him—He provides all we need for life
today and for all eternity. —Marvin Williams
Read John 4 to see how
the Samaritan woman’s
perception of Jesus
changed during their